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Peter John was Professor of Political Science and Public Policy, University College London from 2011 until 2107. Previously he held appointments at the University of Manchester, Birkbeck, University of Southampton, and University of Keele. He has a DPhil from the University of Oxford and his first main job was as a Research Fellow at the Policy Studies Institute.

He is interested in how best to involve citizens in public policy and management, often deploying behavioural interventions. He tests many of these interventions with randomized controlled trials. Some of these trials appeared in Nudge, Nudge, Think, Think: Experimenting with Ways to Change Civic Behaviour (Bloomsbury, 2011). Practical issues with the design of experiments are covered in Field Experiments in Political Science and Public Policy (Routledge, 2017). Experiments are also used to examine the impact of social media and politics in Political Turbulence: How Social Media Shape Collective Action (Princeton University Press, 2015), with Helen Margetts, Scott Hale and Taha Yasseri.

A more general approach to the use of the tools of government to achieve policy change is contained in his Making Policy Work (Routledge, 2011). His current book, to be published in 2018, is a critical review of the use of behavioral public policies, called How Far to Nudge: Assessing Behavioural Public Policy (Edward Elgar). Peter John has had a long interest in local politics and public management, again focusing on citizen choices. Such work culminated in his book with Keith Dowding, Exits, Voices and Social Investment: Citizens’ Reaction to Public Services, Cambridge University Press, 2012. He is currently working with Oliver James at the University of Exeter on a project testing exit and voice with experiments.


Institution / Affiliation : Kings College London

Geographical Region: Europe
Methodology: Experimental Design, Field Experiments
Policy: Governance